Sunday 27 December 2015

Summer school

I was trying to explain the other day to a wrestling friend who came by the house whilst I was sitting on the floor, tapping away on my laptop, surrounded by old issues of Art New Zealand, just why it is I spend a decent portion of my free time editing Wikipedia.

After just saying that I was a nerd, I explained that just like jiu jitsu is, for me, about the pleasure of exercising physical skill (on occasion - most of the time it's about aspiring to exercising physical skill whilst having my head sat on), working on Wikipedia is a way of exercising my mental skills - a combination of my body of knowledge and my abilities as a researcher and writer, combined with a sense of satisfaction about fixing things on the internet. I guess it's kind of become my thing.

Over my summer break I've set myself the task of trying to improve the coverage of New Zealand women art historians and curators, feminist art, and key exhibitions. It involves a lot of old school research, and my god, do I wish Spiral and Antic and Broadsheet had been digitised already - and that Art New Zealand  was more fully available online and with better search functionality. It's also struck me that we're immensely reliant on obituaries to pull together and publish narratives of professional lives - try making a career history out of what you can find online about Priscilla Pitts or Paula Savage or Jenny Harper, for example.

Anyway. So far I've created pages on Tina Barton, Jill Trevelyan, Rhana Devenport, the exhibition Alter / Image and artist Allie Eagle. I've also added more detail to pages on the exhibition Bottled Ocean and the entry for Ngahuia Te Awekotuku (and myriad other bits and pieces as I fall over articles of relevance). Today's target might be improving the entry on Cheryll Sotheran.

(Current stats: 71 pages created, 230 pages edited, 1326 edits)

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